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Aretha Franklin’s Columbia output gets the boxed-set treatment

Deluxe 12-disc collection, due in March, honors the 50th anniversary of her arrival on the scene
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Before she earned the undisputed title as “The Queen of Soul” during her time with Atlantic Records, Aretha Franklin recorded much smoother, more jazz-flavored pop material for the Columbia label.

“Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia,” which is due in digital and physical form March 22 from Columbia/Legacy, chronicles those early years of her career. The 12-disc boxed set (11 CDs and one DVD) will include an expanded edition of Franklin’s 1961 debut, as well as her other original Columbia albums, plus master takes, previously unreleased performances, rare mono mixes and studio conversations.

The collection also comes with a 64-page booklet that features an excerpt from the 1977 autobiography of John Hammond (who signed a teenage Franklin to Columbia in 1960), an essay by Princeton University professor Daphne A. Brooks and a complete discography of albums and singles.